Picking the right hydraulic hose requires some careful consideration. Not only do you have to consider issues such as material type or fitting size, but also if the hose has the reinforcement required to work in a high-pressure environment.
Reinforcements can determine the working pressure of a hose and are a vital component of any hydraulic system. So much, in fact, that in a high-pressure environment the type of hose reinforcements you use can make or break your hydraulic system.
For example, not using a helically-reinforced hose for a suction application could make the hose collapse on itself the moment the vacuum is turned on. Poorly-reinforced hoses could also cause a leak of highly-pressurized fluid, which could create an injection injury if it touches the skin or even causes death.
You can avoid a dangerous hydraulic failure by picking a hose which is properly reinforced. There are three main types of reinforced hoses braided, spiral, and helical wound. Keep reading below to find out which one works best with your hydraulic system.
Braided hose reinforcement
Braided reinforcements are made using a high-speed braider to cover the hose with wire, textile fibers, or another type of material. This creates a crisscrossed reinforcement which is highly-flexible and yet strong enough to resist low to medium pressure applications.
The strength of braided hoses can vary according to the material used and the number of layers they have. However, even braided hoses built to handle higher pressures have a small minimum-bend radius, making them easy to route through difficult areas.
The downside is that the braided layers can fail if they are continually being exposed to high-impulse loads because the braids will rub against each other, eventually weakening the hose to the point of failure.
Spiral reinforced hoses
These are made by wrapping wire or textile fibers around the hose at a predetermined angle. The wires or fibers in a single layer never cross over but rather run parallel over each other. As many as six layers are used, each one with opposing angles to the others, to maximize protection.
Although not as flexible as its braided counterparts, spiral reinforced hoses make up for it in strength, thanks in a large part to the added stiffness of the spirals and its larger minimum bend radius.
This toughness makes spiral hoses ideal for heavy-duty, moving equipment — such as mining trucks or excavators — as they’re capable of handling high pressures thanks to the spirals not overlapping or rubbing against each other when the hose contracts.
Helical reinforced hoses
Helical hoses are mostly used in suction applications, such as in return lines or suction hoses. Helical reinforcement isn’t a stand-alone reinforcement, though, but rather applied over existing layers of spiral or braided reinforcement to prevent them from collapsing under vacuum pressure.
Similar to spiral-wound reinforcements, helical hoses don t have overlapping helixes; which translates into less friction, wear, and better impulse control than braided hoses.
So which type of hydraulic hose reinforcement should you use? Well, it all depends on what you need them for.
If you want a strong hose which can handle a high rate of impulse loads then a spiral reinforced hydraulic hose would be your better choice. On the other hand, if you need a flexible hose with a large minimum bend radius, a braided hose will do the trick.
However, if you need a hose for a suction application then make sure to buy a helical reinforced hose which will prevent your hose from collapsing on itself.
How to Pick the Right Hydraulic Hose Reinforcement